Gender identity refers to a person's desire to identify and be addressed as male, female, neither, or a different term, and it is an identity separate from a person's biological identity or sex. Gender dysphoria develops when a person is distressed by their assigned gender and does not feel as though it correctly describes them. The onset of gender dysphoria can occur at any age and for either sex.
Although the condition of being distressed with one's assigned gender has likely existed throughout humanity, gender dysphoria has only been studied since the late 1800s and has been given many names, including transsexualism, gender dysphoria syndrome, and gender identity disorder. The term transexual appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Third Edition when it was classified as a mental health condition.
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